An overview of current research on the occupational hazards for journalists covering traumatic events, the risk factors that aggravate those effects, and some suggestions for mitigating those factors. Originally published by River Smith and Elana Newman in January, 2009; Updated by Susan Drevo in May, 2016, and by Autumn Slaughter in March, 2019.
Resources for Featured Articles
At this year's Dart Awards winners' roundtable, Melissa del Bosque, Andrea McDaniels, Mae Ryan, Glenn Smith and David Wood shared tips on covering violence, building trust and self-care.
Beth Macy's first book, “Factory Man," tells the story of John Bassett III, a third generation factory owner who battles to keep his Galax, Virginia, furniture factory open while everyone around him has closed up shop. "I put myself in the book is because I thought I owed the reader that transparency," she said. "Because these are my people." A Dart Center Q&A.
Over the last three weeks, a pair of powerful earthquakes shook Nepal, resulting in the deaths of more than 8,000 people. The Dart Center spoke with journalists Russell Lewis and Amantha Perera, and clinician Patrice Keats, about the challenges of covering this tragedy, including verifying information in a time of emergency, speaking with families of missing people, and working through the personal challenges of covering trauma.
Please consult our tips and resources on covering disaster, interviewing victims and survivors, and working with reporters exposed to traumatic events.
More than 800 people died on Sunday after a ship crowded with migrants capsized and sank off the coast of Libya, with the majority of the dead apparently trapped in the ship. Only 28 people are known to have survived.
In 2011, at the age of 17, Anastasia Vlasova covered protests in Kiev for the first time. Three years later when the first wave of major violence erupted in Ukraine, she was studying journalism in her first semester of graduate school. “I wanted to shake people's shoulders and say, wake up! There's a war going on in our country.” A Q&A with Alan Chin.
This provocative three-part series examines the concept of moral injury, a phenomenon where combat or operational experiences transgress deeply held moral and ethical beliefs that undergird a service member’s humanity; often seen as damage to the soul. Judges praised the series for “gracefully and confidently marrying the humanity and understanding of its survivors with a gritty, powerful investigation that breaks new ground.” Originally published in the Huffington Post in March 2014.